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View Diary: Fatalities confirmed in Omaha plant accident (23 comments)

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  •  History? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dinotrac, Skyye, skybluewater, MDhome, JG in MD

    I'll be on the front lines with my pitchfork if this turns out to be yet another company skirting regulations, greasing the palms of politicians and inspectors, or sucking from the government teat in the form of grants and cheap loans while simultaneously complaining about the heavy hand of government oversight.

    But from the initial post earlier today it seemed like this company had a few relatively minor infractions, not a "history" of safety violations.

    There are plenty of legitimate stories about companies with true histories of safety violations that we don't need to be applying the label to every single industrial accident. I'd like to see a citation on a "history" of safety violations before we start manning our torches.

    Don't get me wrong here, I'm sick and tired of the Freedom Industries of this country and the paltry fines paid by this Omaha plant and all the others. But we don't need to be exaggerating just to make a point.

    [Terrorists] are a dime a dozen, they are all over the world and for every one we lock up there will be three to take his place. --Digby

    by rabel on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:31:51 PM PST

    •  Agreed. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rabel, MDhome, JG in MD

      If this was the result of the owners deliberately thumbing their noses at their workers' physical safety, they should be stomped on -- hard.

      However, accidents do happen and no viable regulation is likely to change that.

      Either way, it's not much comfort to the families of those who died.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:37:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, grain elevators exploding are rare (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SaraBeth, Oh Mary Oh, MDhome, bdop4

        and is usually caused by a fan being turned off or not working and for grain dust to be built up.  Most modern grain elevators also have back up systems, but not all, because some do not want to pay the extra $ for a back up system.

        And the motto for safety is all accidents are preventable.

        •  Rare is good, but rare is not never. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rabel, SaraBeth

          Safety of grain elevators has improved greatly.

          Hooray for that.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:58:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  In the bad old days they weren't all that rare. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The cure is good circulation of fresh air.  
          In the past open barns and hand made silos and relatively small volumes of grain kept the occurrence down.

          As grains are being loaded or unloaded or fed into a silo they rub together and slough off tiny bits of  their husks or grain.  The air can get pretty thick with this fine organic powder when gazillions or grains are involved.

          The rubbing also causes static electricity.

          So lots of fresh un-grainy air needs to be pumped in and the the dusty air vented out to keep the static electricity/grain dust levels below kindling point.

          That would explain an explosion and a fire and smoke/dust that apparently was only visible for a few moments but apparently did not actually ignite anything but the air.

    •  It's not the first accident at the plant. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arlene, Sychotic1, One Opinion
      In August 2002, a 45-year-old man was crushed to death by a mixing machine.

      The company at the time was fined $13,600 by OSHA for five "serious" violations and one other violation discovered during an investigation of the accident.

      Separately, in 2012, the firm was fined $10,430 by OSHA to settle six "serious" violations found in a planned inspection. An OSHA report did not detail the violations but said they were in the following categories: Medical services and first aid; handling materials, general; general requirements for machines; abrasive wheel machinery; hand and portable powered tools and equipment; and wiring methods, components and equipment.

      A "serious" violation "exists when the workplace hazard could cause an accident or illness that would most likely result in death or serious physical harm, unless the employer did not know or could not have known of the violation."

      Link to full story. Scroll down for the history.

      "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abbey

      by SaraBeth on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 03:21:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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